One day recently, I looked out the window at the relentless sunshine and felt the need to escape the city. So I did some quick internet research and came up with Palawan Beach on Sentosa (the resort island connected to Singapore by a short bridge, where Universal Studios is). Among other reasons, Palawan marks the southernmost point in Continental Asia. Don’t believe me?
We had a bit of trouble getting there as the cab driver didn’t know Palawan and didn’t tell us that. He tried to drop us off at Siloso Beach, I suppose figuring a beach is a beach is a beach. But I can read, and I have a Google Maps enabled phone so I gave him directions and also made him stop the meter so that we wouldn’t be charged for driving all over Sentosa. Had he shared that he didn’t know Palawan, we could have used Google Maps from the start and not had 5 minutes of back and forth at Siloso Beach. Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that every cab has GPS, but most drivers don’t know how to use it. It was a *headdesk* kind of trip.
BUT…once we were dropped at the correct taxi stand (the one next to the correct beach), we enjoyed the walk towards the beach. We were passed on our Elanor pace walk by a couple in Malaysian wedding finery and their photographer. Like most people, I stopped to take pictures of them. Considering that happened to us when we did our formals in the Boston Public Garden, I didn’t think they’d mind-I knew I hadn’t.
There are two beaches at Palawan; the main beach on the Sentosa side, and then a much smaller beach on the point that’s connected via suspension bridge to SPICA
I took this from the SPICA side–this is a view of the main beach. This is where the shops, restaurants and lifeguards are.
We had to push the stroller through some sand to get to the bridge, but it was worth it.
We journeyed across the bridge, took the cheesy picture from the start of the post, and started exploring the SPICA.
One side of SPICA is beachy and you can swim in the water between the two beach areas. The other side has boulders going down to the water, which if I’m correct is the Singapore Strait. You don’t want to be in that water–it’s deeper, with stronger currents, and many container ships, tugboats and boats of every kind, waiting for their chance to enter the harbor.
But the island is pretty–lots of palm trees everywhere. Ellie loves Palm Trees! I may or mat not have staged the next photo.
The wedding couple also came over to do some more pictures and I was able to get a shot I would never attempt with Ellie as young as she is.
Then it was time to get down to business. I wasn’t really sure what Ellie would do-the majority of her swimming has happened in pools. Her one experience at the beach when she was 8 month old started out well enough, with some playtime in the sand at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk…
But then turned into a ball of FAIL when I decided a picture with some tendrils of water would look great, misjudged the tide and poor Ellie got knocked ass over teakettle, requiring me to grab her out of the water. Understandably pissed, she didn’t want anything to do with the water or beach for the rest of the day.
So, as I said, I didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect her to run gleefully into the water.
Or to think that water up to her neck (this isn’t a trick shot) was an appropriate place to be.
She was walking towards me…I was in deeper water, shooting back at the shore. I quickly got in the more shallow water.
Ellie had a blast playing with her turtle toy and her shovel that her Grandma and Auntie Debbie bought for her.
I alternated between hanging with E, swimming (while B watched Ellie), and taking pictures. Eventually I climbed the tower on SPICA and did some shots from there as well, including catching E deciding that she must be Queen of the boulders.
Eventually it was time to head back to the main part of Palawan and grab some food. Elanor was shrieking “mynana! mynana!” (which both means “my banana” and “I want food” at this point in time) but feel alseep before we were done changing (we changed her on SPICA). With her conked out in the stroller and taking an incredibly rare nap, B and I wandered the beach boardwalk, looking at food choices, popping into the beach store, and enjoying the sights.
Ellie woke up while we were having dinner at a yummy Indian restaurant on the beach, and demanded her share of naan and chicken tikka masala. The sun setting was too beautiful not to stay through, so E played in the sand (bringing half of it home in her diaper) while I played with my camera. These first three shots are of the same location over the course of 40 minutes, and I used my “sunset” setting on the camera to really emphasize the colors.
While we were walking back down the boardwalk, we saw…a giant rainbow!
I also saw this guy sitting under the a palm tree
It reminds me of a photo I took in London last September in Hyde Park.
At any rate, Ella decided the best way to kill time would be to bury herself in the sand
But by now the sun had finished setting, so it was really time to head home. Great day, and a great beach. While it doesn’t have a playground, it’s still a very kid friendly place. The restaurants had high chairs, the 7-11 had milk and juice, the Palawan store had swimsuit (although not in infant sizes), floaties, pails and other kid friendly toys as well as sunscreen. E thought it was awesome and any place that wears her out enough to actually NAP for a change is good in my book. It’s also lovely scenery and I was fascinated by the giant ships out in the Strait, remembering my stuff was far too recently on one of those ships and when we eventually leave Singapore it will be again.